Planning and Conducting Meetings

The following checklist can be used as a basis of planning and conducting meetings. It was designed for conducting large meetings but can also be used to prepare for smaller and more informal meetings.

_____ Is this meeting really necessary?

_____ Are all participants aware of the time, place and length of the meeting?

_____ Are the participants clear about the purpose of the meeting and their roles in it?

_____ Do all participants have an agenda well before the meeting?

_____ Does the agenda include:

____ time, place and length of meeting?

____ indication of who is responsible for presenting each agenda item?

____ time limits for each item?

____ indication of the type of action to be taken?

____ No action, information only

____ No action, discussion only

____ Action/decision (Consider using questions to decide or act on)

____ attachments such as reference materials, working papers, etc. needed for the success of the meeting?

____Is any working paper or other document which will be acted upon in the hands of the committee in sufficient time for them to individually read and process the contents in preparation for the meeting? Note: it is frustrating and counterproductive to distribute important documents at the meeting. There is no time to read them or study them.

____ If your committee goal is to produce a document, have you considered having an individual or small group tasked with writing a working paper or first draft? This paper/draft would be the result of specific guidelines that would be included in the charge. Everyone attending the meeting would understand that this draft is meant to be accepted, rejected, or modified. If you have ever been in a meeting where a large group is asked to develop a document, you realize how important this can be.

____ Do you need to advise attendees of anything unusual they should bring to the meeting?

____ Have follow- up tasks specifically been assigned and made clear before attendees leave?

____ If appropriate, have you made plans to set the time, place and purpose of the next meeting?

____ Have you made a commitment to start and finish on time? (Not starting on time will teach attendees that it is permissible to be late. Running over the ending time can cause attendees problems with their work schedules. If the meeting ends early, thank the attendees and let them go.)

____ Are refreshments appropriate? If so, who is responsible for them? Something healthy please.

____ Pay attention to the seating configuration. Is it appropriate for the type of communication you desire? For example, a circle for discussions or theater seating for lectures/information giving.

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